Alternative and complementary medicine is usually traditional and focused on natural methods of healing that may not yet have established scientific evidence for why or how they work. While many of these methods have shown benefits and effectiveness in scientific studies, why and how they work is often still a mystery to the scientific community.
Energy healing is based on the idea that our bodies have energy centers, called chakras, and a life force. Illness and other problems can be caused by this force becoming unbalanced. Practitioners may use an aura machine to help their patients visualize and understand their individual auras and chakras. Energy healing can be combined with other methods including mainstream medicine and can encompass several different methods including reflexology, reiki energy healing, light therapy, and more.
Naturopathy is the general name given to the practice of healing through natural means. Naturopathy can include many different types of healing, and practitioners are licensed and trained in different therapies. Common naturopathic methods include herbal therapies, the practices of traditional Chinese medicine, homeopathy, and modifications to the diet.
Homeopathic medicine is based on the idea that the body can cure itself. Homeopathic medicine contains a tiny fraction of an ingredient that is supposed to trigger this curing reaction. The main theory behind homeopathic medicine is the idea that “like cures like”. A very small amount of an ingredient that has a reaction similar to the symptoms the patient is having is used in the medication. For example, an ingredient that causes eye watering or a runny nose is used to bring allergy relief when diluted. This then triggers the body to begin curing itself of that symptom.
Traditional Chinese Medicine
Traditional Chinese medicine, also known as TCM, is a combination of different techniques that all come from ancient Chinese philosophy. The basic idea of TCM is to achieve balance in the Qi, or life energy that everyone has. Illness is caused by an imbalance in this vital life force. Traditional Chinese medicine involves herbal treatments, acupuncture, meditation, cupping, and moxibustion, a technique of burning herbs near the patient. Many of these techniques are also used in other areas of naturopathy and mainstream medicine.
Meditation has shown mental and physical health benefits. Guided meditation sessions can help beginners learn how to practice mindfulness and meditation, but these techniques can also be done alone. Meditation can help with anxiety and stress, can increase calmness, and can help with depression. Meditation helps clear the mind and reduce negative emotions and thought patterns. It has also shown benefits for physical ailments and may help reduce pain, aid in sleeping, and reduce blood pressure.
Hypnotherapy has been used successfully to help reduce stress and anxiety. It may also be helpful in other situations, such as pain control and easing the side effects of cancer medication. It’s also used to help behavior concerns and mental health situations such as anxiety, bed wetting, addiction, and PTSD symptoms. Strangely, it has also been shown to help with irritable bowel symptoms.
Chiropractic adjustments are used to manipulate and adjust joints to help them align better. It is done by licensed chiropractors and is used to relieve pain in joints and muscles as well as being used to treat a variety of other symptoms such as headaches.
Reflexology is based on the idea that specific areas of the feet, hands, and ears correspond with organs and other areas of the body. Massaging these areas in specific ways can bring pain relief and healing to the corresponding area of the body. Reflexology is part of the system of ancient medicine practices known as traditional Chinese medicine and has been practiced for hundreds of years. Reflexology may help reduce pain and stress, improve people’s moods, and make people feel happier. Many other benefits have also been attributed to reflexology, including helping with digestion, improving the immune system, healing colds, and many other things.
Massage is a method of rubbing and kneading the body to produce healing. This is especially beneficial for sore and stiff muscles and joints but also has other effects. Massage is excellent for promoting relaxation, eliminating stress, and treating anxiety. It is also an effective treatment to help heal some injuries, such as sprains and tears, as well as help with flexibility and performance in athletes.
This therapy is a part of traditional Chinese medicine and involves the placement of very thin needles into the body. The needles are placed in specific areas to promote healing by helping to rebalance the energy force of the body. Modern practitioners aren’t all in agreement as to what exactly acupuncture does in the body, but it has been used to help relieve many different types of pain, including labor and delivery pain, dental pain, neck pain, and headaches. It has also been used to promote the healing of injuries and to help relieve the discomfort of chemotherapy in cancer patients.